Hidden treasures: Human-made aquatic ecosystems harbour unexplored opportunities
Artificial water bodies like ditches, fish ponds, weirs, reservoirs, fish ladders, and irrigation channels are usually constructed and managed to optimize their intended purposes. However, human-made aquatic systems also have unintended consequences on ecosystem services and biogeochemical cycles.
Knowledge about their functioning and possible additional ecosystem services is poor, especially compared to natural ecosystems. A GIS analysis indicates that currently only ~ 10% of European surface waters are covered by the European Water Framework directive, and that a considerable fraction of the excluded systems are likely human-made aquatic systems. There is a clear mismatch between the high possible significance of human-made water bodies and their low representation in scientific research and policy.
We propose a research agenda to build an inventory of human-made aquatic ecosystems, support and advance research to further our understanding of the role of these systems in local and global biogeochemical cycles as well as to identify other benefits for society. We stress the need for studies that aim to optimize management of human-made aquatic systems considering all their functions and to support programs designed to overcome barriers of the adoption of optimized management strategies.
Research news | 2024-02-20
Having good neighbours and few top predators make predatory fish populations more resilient
A regime shift is gradually spreading through the archipelagos of the Swedish Baltic Sea coast, where shallow bays, previously dominated by pike and perch have one by one become dominated by one of their prey species, the three-spined stickleback.
Research news | 2024-02-08
Eating new plant-based foods can be good for the environment, your health and your economy
Replacing animal-source foods with plant-based alternatives or whole foods decreases environmental impact, meets nutrition recommendations, and can be cost-competitive with the current average Swedish diet
Research news | 2024-01-29
Bird AI and sailing drones – green game changers for marine ecosystems
Groups of guillemots on an island in the Baltic Sea have unknowingly inspired how marine research can be done. Two AI-powered research projects can change how to monitor marine ecosystems – and potentially manage them in real-time
Research news | 2024-01-24
Centralised social networks can hinder innovation by making decision-making too similar
Social systems where influence is centred around one or two individuals can lead to pack mentality and groupthink in farming communities
Research news | 2024-01-23
Planetary Commons: Fostering global cooperation to safeguard critical Earth system functions
We should look at tipping elements of the Earth system as global commons, argue researchers in a new paper published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Research news | 2024-01-22
Soy: A world journey from success to uncertainty
From a bean valued for its multitude of functions in ancient China to one of the most traded agricultural commodities of the modern world: the soybean has gone through dramatic changes throughout the millennia.